India gate
Smog at India gate.Reuters

As the National Capital Region, including New Delhi, is facing some serious pollution issues and of late is mostly seen blanketed in thick smog, it looks like the region is also losing its charm among job seekers. Earlier several people were willing to move to New Delhi for better job prospects, but now many are said to be staying away from the city due to the pollution, no matter how reputed or well-paying the job is.

For instance, a Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical industry executive is said to have recently turned down a job in New Delhi, even though the offer included a better position and a hike of about 40 percent. The reason behind his decision was the high pollution level in the capital city.

"This is the first instance where a candidate has rejected the job offer citing pollution-related concerns," BTI Consultants managing director James Agrawal told the Economic Times. He also explained that while several people have been sceptical about moving to the capital city in the past too for various reasons, good pay packages have won them over. However, things seem different this time and candidates seem to be more cautious.

And it looks like even packages worth half a million dollars are not alluring enough anymore. Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of The Head Hunters India told the daily that apart from the hefty package the executive was also being offered stock options. "But he refused, citing hazardous impact of the bad air quality on his young children."

Meanwhile, numerous executives from other countries as well as India are also said to be either postponing or cancelling their trips to the city due to the high pollution levels and the health concerns that comes with it.

"There is definitely a big negative perception on the current state in the region. Most conversations end with a significant amount of time devoted to discussing the weather and the ill-effects of the pollution, explained Praful Nangia from Hunt Partners.

While the city has been making constant news due to the smog, the air quality is likely to get worse in the coming months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"This is just the start to the smog season in northern India and Pakistan, as the monsoon will last for much of the upcoming winter. That means there are plenty of more opportunities for cold, stagnant air to fill with pollution, turning cities into dangerously unhealthy snow globes," the NOAA said in a statement.